Kiteley, Robin J. and Considine, Thomas (2008) Using wikis to support student collaboration and research. In: Teaching and Learning Conference 2008: Enhancing Learning: Technology by Design, 15th September 2008, University of Huddersfield. (Unpublished)

This paper describes the use of wikis to facilitate group work within an intermediate level module on the Foundation Degree in Police Studies. It outlines that way in which the technology has been embedded and supported, and discusses the impact it has had on issues of student participation. It also considers the way in which the use of technology can help students and tutors to utilise time more efficiently.

Wikis are web sites or pages that can be viewed and edited by any user. In the context of learning and teaching wikis can be used to support and promote collaborative group work and research processes. This can help to encourage students to engage in peer learning and also provides an accessible and flexible platform for students who might otherwise struggle to undertake collaboration by face-to-face means.

The paper goes on to consider some of the reported benefits of wiki use within education, including the democratising effect of ‘open-editing’ (Leuf and Cunningham, 2001) and the ways in which student-centred, constructivist models of learning can be facilitated. It also considers some of the possible concerns around plagiarism, textual authority and legitimacy (Bayne, 2006).

Finally, the paper concludes by considering the ways in which wikis can function not only as an aid to learning and collaboration, but as a developing knowledge-base for professional practice.

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